A television producer accused of trying to extort $2 million from talk show host David Letterman by revealing his sexual affairs pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted grand larceny on Friday.
The popular host of Late Show with David Letterman on CBS stunned viewers on Thursday by admitting he had sex with female subordinates, saying he went to the authorities after receiving a package threatening to reveal the details.
Robert Joel Halderman, a producer for the CBS documentary show 48 Hours, was indicted by a grand jury on Thursday and pleaded not guilty in his Manhattan court appearance on Friday.
His actions reflect desperation that is alarming and dangerous, prosecutor Judy Salwen said.
Halderman, who faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison if convicted, was shackled with his hands behind his back during the hearing. The judge set bail at $200,000.
He denies the allegations, said Gerald Shargel, Halderman's lawyer. This story is far more complex than what you heard this afternoon.
Prosecutors say Halderman appeared at Letterman's Manhattan home on September 9 and left a package in the comedian's car with a one-page screenplay outlining the affairs.
The package also contained a letter saying Letterman would need to pay a large chunk of money or else Halderman would give him the screenplay treatment that would lead to a ruined reputation, prosecutors said.
Letterman married Regina Lasko, his longtime companion, in March. The couple have a son born in 2003.